Caring Labor, Unpaid Work and Policy Implications
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (CST)
- Chair: Marcella Corsi, Sapienza University of Rome
An Intersectional Analysis of Care Workforce Wages and Job Quality in the US
AbstractChildcare workers perform services critical to a well-functioning economy allowing parents to engage in paid work and pursue education. The devaluation of work historically done by women, and especially women of color, has resulted in low wages and inadequate benefits for early childhood and education workers. The median wage for center-based workers, $12.00 per hour nationally, is well below a living wage and lags behind other careers that require specialized skills and certifications. Investments in care infrastructure must prioritize the quality of childcare jobs to boost recruitment and retention and support workers so they may live, work, and thrive. The analysis shows how current compensation falls short of covering basic needs, as well as the importance of education and job satisfaction.
Investing in Care for Jobs Generation and Gender Equality: A Policy Simulation for Jordan
AbstractThis paper explores the economic outcomes of increased public expenditures on expansion of childcare services in Jordan in terms of generation of new jobs and labor earnings, and the distributional impact on employment and income by gender, education, age, marital and parental status and household income.
We assess the care coverage gap in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in Jordan and estimate the required increase in public expenditures to eliminate this gap. We then estimate the economic returns to increased public spending of this required magnitude on an ECEC expansion in terms of jobs generation, both directly in the ECEC services sector and indirectly in other sectors from which ECEC purchases inputs using input-output analysis.
We compare the number of jobs generated through ECEC spending to the number of jobs likely to be generated if expenditures of similar magnitude were to have been directed to physical infrastructure and construction instead.
Finally, using a microsimulation model, we allocate the new jobs under the alternative spending scenarios to the various unemployed and labor market inactive individuals observed in household data, based on their employment propensities determined by observed characteristics such as gender, age, education, marital status and household income. The simulation estimates the earnings of the new job recipients, the change in their household income and the consequent impact on income distribution. Our findings indicate that the ECEC coverage gap is close to 800 thousand children under age 6 with policy targets set at 50 percent for children under 3 and 100 percent for children 3-5 years old. The amount of spending required to eliminate this gap at decent work conditions and high service quality in the childcare sector stands at 4.36 percent of GDP.
Early Childhood Education and Care: How To Avoid a ‘Motherhood Penalty’?
AbstractPaid maternity leave is a fundamental right for women workers. Unfortunately, it is also a right that women in several countries are still unable to enjoy: having children is too often associated with a ‘motherhood penalty’ and a ‘fatherhood premium’ in earnings, reflecting increasing inequalities in care. This paper investigates the organization of childcare (from maternity leaves to ECEC) in the EU, using EU-SILC data, and explores new ways of structuring maternity and parental leaves that could benefit mothers’ labor market participation, the gender division of unpaid care, the economy, and the children. The availability of early childhood education and care (ECEC) is a fundamental variable. According to the European Institute of Gender Equality (EIGE), 14 % of households in the EU reported an unmet need for childcare services, in 2016. Affordability was the leading cause (50 %), followed by a lack of available places (12 %), opening hours (8 %) and distance (5 %). Affordable and high-quality childcare services are fundamental to women’s ability to juggle childcare and participation in the labor market. Empirical research shows that childcare availability appears to have a relevant impact on mothers’ labor supply, and the impact of childcare availability is stronger among those who are more disadvantaged (i.e., who have lower incomes and are less skilled). In fact, the decision to externalize childcare is in many cases made by the mother or is the result of a family event affecting the mother, particularly return to work after parental leave (EIGE, 2020).
When Working Is Not Enough: Is There a Care Trap for Female Workers?
AbstractOver the last years the share of workers whose earnings are below the poverty line has sharply increased in Italy. According to Italian administrative data, in 2017 the incidence of low pay for women was about 41.4%, for men 24.9%: a gap of 16.6 percentage points that has never narrowed over the last 30 years. In other words, although women have played an increasingly active part in the Italian labour market, their labour conditions did not improve. The increase in employment for women has not been of sufficient quality to allow them to exceed the individual poverty line, which corresponds to 60% of the median annual earned income. Part-time plays a crucial role. Since a 'male breadwinner' family model still dominates, women are asked to prioritize domestic and care responsibilities with respect to formal employment and therefore they make up a large proportion of the part-time work supply. Making use of a unique source of data merging the Italian waves of the Survey on Income and Living Conditions produced by Eurostat (IT-SILC) with the administrative archives from INPS (Italian National Social Security) collecting information on working careers and pensions, the article investigates how the care burden (and specifically childcare) may affect employment transitions of men and women, and by this way, income gaps increasing probabilities of occupational downgrading from full-time to part-time jobs and unemployment, and from high-paid jobs to low-paid jobs and unemployment.
Istanbul Technical University
Sapienza University of Rome
University of Bari
- J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
- E0 - General